You know what day it is? It’s Monday again and that can mean only one thing here at GodisaGeek.com: It’s time for another edition of Mobile Monday, the article where we take a look at four mobile games and let you know if they’re worth your time and money.
This week we’re taking a look at A Clockwork Brain from Total Eclipse, Collider Quest from CR Entertainment, Knights of the Round Cable from Dancing Dots and The Naked Gun: I.C.U.P. From DNA Interactive.
Read on to find the full reviews of each game and don’t forget to come back next week for the reviews of another four games. While you’re here, if you have played any of the games listed, or even just want to come back once you’ve had a go to let us know how you got on, we’d love to hear from you in the comment box at the bottom of the page.
Get downloading and get playing!
Titles are available on iPhone and iPad unless specifically stated otherwise. If you like what you read, click the small black “App Store” button to load iTunes up and purchase the title!
A CLOCKWORK BRAIN:
It used to be that brain training games were only to be found on the Nintendo DS (and later the Nintendo 3DS) with the Dr. Kawashima series of games leading the charge, but things have changed over the past year or so with even more brain trainer apps making their way to the iOS App Store, we’ve even reviewed a couple of them on Mobile Monday before, the most memorable being Einstein’s Brain Trainer. A Clockwork Brain is another brain trainer – developed by Total Eclipse – and is the same tried and tested gameplay that we’re all used to but with a charming Steampunk aesthetic to the proceedings. Are looks alone enough to keep it afloat in water that’s getting deeper and deeper by the day?
The gameplay is almost exactly the same as what you’d be expecting from a brain training game, but with slightly fewer features than some of the more popular games in the genre. When you start playing the game you’ll be given a set of four tasks to perform from a selection of ten, these tasks will be randomly picked and there’s no way for you to know what you’re going to be given before the game starts; just to be sure that you’re not going to prepare yourself and cheat your way to the top. At the end of each of the games you’re given a score based on a five star system. The more stars you get, the better you did, and the better you do across all four of the games, the more Sprockets (the game’s in-game currency) you’ll be given at the end.
What do you use those Sprockets for I hear you ask? You use them in the built-in shop to buy new games, wallpapers and more. One thing that I did notice, which may be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your perspective (and the size of your wallet) is that there’s no option to buy more Sprockets using real money. This seems like an obvious place to generate some money for the developer, by allowing people with too much money weighing them down to buy Sprockets and purchase all of the in-game items without working for them. Personally I’m glad that it isn’t included but there are some people that would want it there for the option alone, even if they never intended to use it themselves.
There’s nothing particularly special about A Clockwork Brain, apart from the visually pleasing Steampunk look of the entire application, it’s not a bad game, it’s just that it doesn’t really push the boat out. There are plenty of opportunities to create some mini-games that fit in with the Steampunk feel and, at least at the moment, none of them do. The developers have said that more levels are currently in the works and maybe these will be a little bit more engaging to the user, but the ones that are in the game at the moment simply seem a little bland, getting a somewhat irritating after the third or fourth time you’ve played the same one. The game is worth a download and a play, but don’t expect the world from it.
We’ve covered a lot of puzzle games here on Mobile Monday, but not many of them can claim that they’ve actually had a half decent story built into them. In fact, not a lot of iOS games in general – even those that claim to be story-driven – can really claim to be any good in the narrative department; with the exception of a couple of games. Collider Quest, developed by CR Entertainment, is a puzzle compilation game where all the puzzles are cohesively held together with an epic tale of a dystopian future and a group of people’s need to get back to their own time. They need help though, and that’s where you come in.
The story of the game takes place in the year 2018; something has gone terribly wrong with the Large Hadron Collider but you’re not exactly sure what. The thing was working when you got hurtled through space and time, but now everything’s in ruin. You’ve been sent forward in time with six other people of various skills and backgrounds and you’re going to have to work together if you’ve got any hope of figuring out what happened and, more importantly, finding a way back home.
The gameplay revolves around a series of puzzles that are integrated into the story in a rather clever way. A couple of the early levels have you collecting items that you’re going to need from a room that’s a little bit of a mess, you’re given a list of objects and are simply told to tap on them within the game’s world in order to collect them. It sounds simple on paper but some of the items that you’re asked to find are so small that it’s often no small feat to find them all in the time limit that you’re given. Other games include spot the difference, matching games and plenty of other games that all integrate intelligently into the story in such a way that you never really feel like you’re playing a puzzle game, it always feels like you’re playing some form of text based RPG with puzzle elements.
All of the puzzles are relatively simple to play, some of them are a little bit more difficult than others but that’s just the nature of puzzle collection games. The aspect that may trip up some people is actually understanding what you’ve got to do in order to complete some of the puzzles, the instructions that you’re given can often be incredibly vague (sometimes purposefully so) and as soon as that clock starts ticking down in the top left hand corner of the screen you’ve got to start not only completing the puzzle, but figuring out what the game wants from you in the first place. All of the puzzles in the game are nice and responsive even on my aging first generation iPad, so as long as you can understand the different puzzles, the controls aren’t going to be a problem for anyone.
If you’ve been on the lookout for a new puzzle game, something that you can dip in and out of from time to time without having to give up half of your life just to complete it, then Collider Quest could just be the game you’re looking for, especially if you’re a fan of point and click adventures or RPG’s. The story is one of the best I’ve had the pleasure to play on the iOS devices and while the games themselves aren’t really anything to write home about, the game could be sold on the strength of the story and its integration into the gameplay alone. The first couple of missions are free to download and there’s an in-app purchase to unlock the rest of the game, so there’s no excuse for anyone to not at least try the game out. Well, what are you waiting for?
KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND CABLE:
Some games that make their way to the iOS App Store are addictive for totally obvious reasons. Sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they run really well on your ageing device and sometimes they’re addictive because you get to collect a plethora of items all while listening to the sweet “ding” sound over and over again (you try to tell me that that’s not the reason you keep going back to those old Sonic the Hedgehog games). Knights of the Round Cable, developed by Dancing Dots, gives you all three of those addictive qualities and more, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of those games that you can be sure that I’ll be keeping on all my iDevices, so start downloading it now folks.
The main gameplay tasks the player with swinging around the game world collecting as many gems as you possibly can before the timer runs out and you have to move on to the next world. In order to do this you have to attach your character to the numerous grab points that are dotted around the map. Once you’re attached to one of these grab points you’ll start swinging around and around in a circle, collecting all of the gems that find their way into your path, then when you’ve run out of things to collect you have to launch yourself towards another grab point and do the whole thing over and over again.
There are plenty of hazards in the way of your tremendous leaps, from birds to witches and many more things in between. Hit these objects and you’ll lose one of your lives (another throwback to those classic games of yesteryear). Lose all of your lives and it’s game over and you’ll find yourself all the way back at the start of the game doing it all all over again. Not something that you’re going to want to do, so you better pay attention. There are also plenty of items to unlock throughout your time with the game from new characters to items that will make your next playthrough a little bit easier. It’s things like this, making it seem like you’re saving up for something while you’re playing, that will keep most players coming back for more and more time and time again.
The controls of the game couldn’t be simpler and help to lower the barrier to entry so low that just about anyone with a pulse could pick up and play Knights of the Round Cable. All you need to do is touch and hold the screen when you want your character to attach to a grab point, then let go of the screen when you want the character to let go and launch themselves towards wherever they happen to be point. Some of the later levels start to get a little bit fast paced, with plenty of hazards making your life a little bit harder, but if you find yourself dying a lot then it’ll simply be because you’re not good enough, not because the controls aren’t responsive; they really can’t be faulted.
If you’re in the market for a new, colourful, hilarious and addictive game to add to your iOS gaming library then you should really consider downloading Knights of the Round Cable now, in fact, you should have started downloading when I first told you to. You’ll do as you’re told next time.
THE NAKED GUN: I.C.U.P.
If you grew up as a child of the early 90s or earlier, then you’ll no doubt already be well versed in the misadventures of Frank Drebin throughout the Naked Gun films. Whether you love them or hate them, you can’t really deny that they’re tent-pole movies when it comes to comedy from that era. With that in mind you can already pretty much guess what you’re going to get with The Naked Gun: I.C.U.P. (which isn’t an Apple based drinking container), a point and click adventure game for the iOS devices developed by DNA Interactive. You should probably strap yourselves in for this one, if the game is anything like the films then things aren’t going to go smoothly for our protagonist.
The story of The Naked Gun: I.C.U.P. follows the adventures of Frank Drebin Junior – the son of the main character of the films – who has somehow found himself a job on the force as a member of the Police Squad despite being as dim-witted as his well-known father. If you’re familiar with the films and the style of humour that they contain (and if you enjoy that humour) then you’re going to feel right at home with this new addition to the canon. Developed as a spiritual successor to the films, The Naked Gun: I.C.U.P. makes fans feel right at home from the very first mission.
The aim of the game is to solve various missions that you’ll be given in a standard point and click adventure manner. Most of the objects in any given room can be tapped on, even if they can’t be interacted with directly. Just like most adventure games, the challenge won’t be figuring out what you have to do (that will usually be fairly obvious), instead the challenge will come from trying to figure out how the game wants you to perform the actions in order to progress the story. Regular adventure game players will be used to this trope of the genre and have learned to power through it, or just found ways around it, but those of us than don’t really delve into that area of video games may find ourselves a little bit lost at first.
The controls of the game don’t really need to be talked about, it’s a point and click adventure, the whole point is to point at stuff and hopefully be able to use it within the game in some form of constructive way. These types of games lend themselves exceedingly well to the touch formats such as tablets and smart phones and they always seem to leave the player feeling a little bit more immersed in the world than their PC based brethren, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some downsides. The main downside being that whenever you’re tapping on something on the screen, the object that you’re trying to interact with is obscured from view by your finger. This isn’t really much of a problem on tablet devices, but on smart phones, where every single scrap of screen real estate is highly valued, it can be a tad bothersome at times.
If you’re a fan of the Naked Gun series of films and you want more adventures within that universe then The Naked Gun: I.C.U.P. is exactly the game you’ve been looking for, especially if you enjoy point and click adventure games. I’d easily recommend it to anyone who wants to play a humorous, well-made and stylistically beautiful game, but only if you have a tablet device. It’s possible to play on the smaller screens but it detracts from the overall experience. Give it a go, you may enjoy it.